Indeed, an effective and coordinated global relief effort depends on detailed information and communications, and the mainstream media is still an important part of that process. Mediabistro’s TVNewser posted a list of television reporters headed to Haiti, and their colleagues from print and radio will surely join them. But the world owes a measure of debt to new media platforms—which will undoubtedly continue to play an important role in Haiti in the days and months to come—for their assistance in facilitating the early response to this disaster.

[Update, 1:30 p.m.: The Associated Press’s Jonathan Katz is on the scene in Port-au-Prince and the AP has created a Facebook page and Twitter feed as part of its coverage of the earthquake.

“Covering tragedies of the magnitude in Haiti has been a sad part of what the AP has done quickly and reliably for decades,” AP Executive Editor Kathleen Carroll wrote in an e-mail. “By using Facebook and Twitter accounts to interact with our audience and learn more about what they want to know, AP will strengthen its already dynamic relationship with its member news organizations, other customers and news consumers throughout the world.”]

[Update, 1/14 1:00 p.m.: On Thursday, The Miami Herald announced that, “MiamiHerald.com has been remade to accommodate the huge amount of information and photos coming from Haiti. A part of MiamiHerald.com will be devoted to enabling family members and friends to contact one another and also to share information of all kinds in both Haiti and South Florida.

You will find links to this page, under the title Haiti Connect, on MiamiHerald.com’s home page. We’ll continue this as long as it seems helpful.”]

Curtis Brainard is the editor of The Observatory, CJR's online critique of science and environment reporting. Follow him on Twitter @cbrainard.